Naira closes at 363/dollar as CBN sells $536m

The naira closed at 363 per United States dollar at the parallel market on Monday despite the sale of the sum of $536m on Friday and Monday by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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The naira closed at 363/dollar on Friday.

Specifically, the central bank intervened in the inter-bank foreign exchange market with the sum of $210m to meet customers’ requests in various segments of the market on Monday.

This was in addition to the $325.64m retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales made by the regulator on Friday.

The retail SMIS were meant to meet requests in the agricultural, airlines, petroleum products and raw materials and machinery sectors.

The CBN said Monday’s sale was in line with its determination to meet the customers’ needs in the sundry segments of the market.

The CBN offered $100m to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises segment got the sum of $55m.

The figures also indicated that customers needing foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments, Basic Travel Allowance, among others, were also allocated the sum of $55m.

The bank’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, assured Nigerians that the bank would continue to intervene in the interbank foreign exchange market, in line with its pledge to sustain liquidity in the market and maintain stability.

The country fell into recession in 2016 largely because of low crude oil prices. Lower oil revenues led to dollar shortages, since crude sales are the country’s main source of dollars.

The economy emerged from recession in the second quarter of last year as crude prices recovered and militant attacks against Niger Delta oil production facilities ended.

The reserves hit $42bn last week, the CBN said.

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